For Old Dominion fans, Dimitri Batten is already a household name due to his uptempo, leave-everything-on-the-court style of play. For the rest of you CAA fans who don’t the name now, by the end of the upcoming season, you will. Here are a few reasons why Batten will have a breakout year for the Monarchs.
As a redshirt freshman last season, Batten was able to get off of ODU head coach, Blain Taylor‘s, bench immediately. He averaged about 20 minutes per game and played a crucial role in backing up a trio of senior guards ahead of him on the roster. Still, Batten managed to show bursts of scoring and stealing. He finished fourth on the team in scoring, averaging just under eight points per contest. His 37 steals on the year ranked second on the team.
His highlight games were against East Carolina, where he scored a career-high 18 points, and against Long Island, in which Batten scored 16 and added five steals.
Scoring has never been a problem for the sophomore from Newport News, Va. as he averaged 21 points per game and was named 2010 Peninsula District Player of the Year at Kecoughtan High School. At Kecoughtan, he put his stamp on the distict by affecting all facets of the game. He averaged seven rebounds, six assists and three steals, as junior, to complement his 21 points.
In just one season of CAA action, Batten has shown flashes of this same talent. He is the typical Blaine Taylor combo guard at 6-3, 180. His ball-handling skills are good enough for him to run some point, which is going to be an area of concern for ODU this season after losing senior point guard Marquel DeLancey. He can defend on and off the ball and has a ridiculous motor that fans and coaches alike rave about.
His outside shooting touch is what will most likely be of most use to this year’s team. Batten shot a respectable 39 percent from behind the 3-point line last season, which was best on the team. ODU isn’t typically known for it’s outside shooting under Taylor, but Batten has the ability to stretch defenses that try to box the Monarchs in.
With more responsibility this season–and likely starting position–Dimitri Batten will become a household name in the CAA this season. His athleticism is sneaky-explosive as it tends to catch opposing teams off guard on both the offense and defensive end. You can catch Batten hang in the air for boards amongst the trees down low, or jamming it in on a longer defender off the fastbreak.
CAA, get ready. Dimitri is coming.